Hang ten in Cali or get grungy in moody Seattle

Welcome to America’s West Coast! This incredibly diverse and gorgeous coastline has more to offer than just sand, surf, and sun (although that would be enough wouldn’t it?). You can never get bored exploring all the great sights and cities California and the Pacific Northwest have to offer, but to help get your USA FOMO going we narrowed down the list to our favorite west coast cities. From fish tacos and beaches to coffee and grunge, when it comes to the USA, the west really is best!

San Diego

What can we say about this classy SoCal must-see city? Between the stunning shoreline, AMAZING fish tacos and laidback vibes, San Diego is the epitome of Cali culture. We recommend spending a lazy morning on the beach, hopping on a speedboat ride through the bay in the afternoon, and then closing your day with a cocktail or two (who’s counting anyway) in the lively Gaslamp Quarter. Oh! Did we mention that San Diego is the ‘Craft Beer Capital of America’? Time to open a cold one and take in those beach views…

Los Angeles

Travel a few hours north and you’ll arrive in shiny LA. This sun-drenched jewel needs no introduction! Hollywood, the Santa Monica pier, the Griffith Observatory, and of course Universal Studios are all waiting for you here in California’s culture capital. Looking for something a little off the beaten path? Check out the street graffiti in DTLA’s Arts District or enjoy the colorful residents on the boardwalk of Venice. Take a hike, grab a smoothie, spot a star; you’re in LA, baby!

San Francisco

Goodbye desert climate, it’s time to go to Northern California – where the iconic San Francisco reigns supreme. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge for the ultimate Instagram shot, walk through the character-drenched North Beach neighbourhood and visit the famous Pier 39. Looking for something more mellow? Catch a ride out to Sonoma, America’s wine country, or head north to see the epic Muir Woods National Monument. Before you go, grab some clam chowder. You (and your taste buds) won’t regret it.

San Francisco


Goodbye California and hello Pacific Northwest! What can we say about the west coast’s lovely (and weird) Portland? It is a picturesque little city full of natural beauty – with Mt Hood providing the perfect backdrop, quaint micro-breweries, and some of the best food trucks this part of the USA has to offer. Food and beer aside, do yourself a favour and get outside. You’re surrounded by America’s only rainforest, after all!


Oh the beautiful Emerald City, birthplace of Nirvana, Starbucks and Amazon.com. Seattle is a haven for nature lovers, techies, and urban dwellers alike. Nestled on the Puget Sound, this waterside city has one of the best music scenes in the USA. Music not your thing? Definitely head to the world-famous Pike Place market and watch workers toss some fish while you sip on an expertly brewed coffee. Before you leave, check out the very photogenic (and sort of gross) gum wall for the ultimate Seattle selfie.

Pacific Northwest - Seattle Gum Wall
Kristen Dennison
A native New Yorker who now calls the sunny west coast home, Kristen has turned her hobby of travel into her career as a Product Manager at Topdeck. When she’s not travelling, you can find her exploring the many nooks and crannies of downtown Los Angeles.